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Hotels expected to collect $1.95 billion in guest fees in 2012

August 24, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Hotels are expected to collect $1.95 billion in guest fees in 2012.
Hotels are expected to collect $1.95 billion in guest fees in 2012. (Brian van der Brug/ Los Angeles…)

Airlines are not the only businesses making piles of dough on extra fees.

The nation’s hotel industry is expected to collect $1.95 billion this year on charges for such things as Internet fees, telephone surcharges, business center fees and resort fees, according to a study by New York University professor Bjorn Hanson.

That revenue represents a 5% increase from last year when hotels amassed $1.85 billion, said Hanson, a hospitality expert who attributes the 2012 raise to improved hotel occupancy rates and higher charges for many of the same services.

Last year. many hotels introduced some new charges, including to have bell staff hold your bags either before you check in or after you check out.

But this year, Hanson said the industry hasn’t created many new fees  for fear of drawing the ire of their guests.

“The hotel industry is aware of how travelers feel about airline fees,” he said. “It’s probably not the time to introduce a new form of revenue.”

Hotels began the fee trend in 1997 by adding mandatory resort fees at some high-end establishments. The trend grew during the economic recession when hotels added fees for room service delivery, mini-bar restocking charges and automatic gratuities, among others.

Still, the airline industry collects far more revenue from fees than hotels.
Last year, 50 of the nation’s largest airlines collected $22.6 billion in fees, according to a recent study by Wisconsin-based IdeaWorksCompany, a consultant on airline revenue, and Amadeus, a travel technology firm based in Madrid.

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